Bollywood actress Neelam Kothari Soni’s campaign at the Child Rights and You (CRY) America's gala series proved to be a grand success as it managed to raise over US$1 million toward life-changing support for underprivileged children in India and the U.S.
“The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives” Netflix reality series star featured as the celebrity guest at the cross-country fundraising galas of CRY America in Seattle, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Houston. Meanwhile, New York’s CRY gala featured an address from New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar.
The veteran actress led the events' lively pledge sessions, raising a total of US$1.08 million toward 40 projects in India and the U.S. currently supported by the nonprofit. The new release emphasized that her earnest request to “make CRY happy, make the children happy – and make Neelam happy,” did not go unheeded by attendees, who contributed generously. CRY America CEO Shefali Sunderlal said, "Our donors ensured that thousands of children will have a better future with their generosity.”
The fundraising events also featured dance performances to Neelam's film songs and an interactive video session with Souvik Basu, executive director of project Sanlaap in Kolkata which works towards the correction of social imbalances.
Before hitting the dance floor herself in the Bay Area, Neelam expressed, “I feel every child has the right to proper education, nutrition, and the right to make a choice of what they want to be in life. At the end of the day, you want your child to smile - to be happy. That’s the reason I’m here. It’s been an honour to be part of these fundraisers, so please open your hearts and join me in supporting CRY America.”
CRY America is a non-profit based in the US, extending support to projects providing education and healthcare access to underprivileged children and protecting children from child labour, early marriage and trafficking. Since 2004, with the support of over 25,000 donors and over 2,000 volunteers, the non-profit has impacted the lives of 786,985 children living across 5,027 villages and slums through support to 90 projects in India and the US.